The Unbelieving Spouse's Perspective
March 10, 2022
"Can I ask you something..?" I said to Bryce a few weekends ago at the breakfast table.
He gave one of those smiles where he could see a wifely deep-and-meaningful talk coming. In true male style he braced himself. "Go on then."
I took a deep breath:
"You really didn't like my faith a few years ago. And now you don't mind it. What made you change your mind?"
He thought for a minute.
"Well .... Over time, you showed me you still loved me. Even though I wasn't Christian."
That was interesting. See, I wasn't sure how good a job I'd done at this. I mean it's hard being married, and it's hard being spiritually mismatched. But clearly something had worked there and had made an impact on him. What an encouragement!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9, NIV)
We continued talking, and what he said next was somewhat harder to hear.
"Look, when you became Christian, all of a sudden that was the only thing that was shiny to you. Everything and everyone else stopped being so interesting to you. Including me. It was hard."
But, if that was his experience I needed to listen. Did he have a point? I think he did. The things in the world do grow strangely dim when we find out that Jesus is real. And God is shiny. He is glorious, he radiates love, and he is immensely attractive. It's understandable to find God the most interesting one in your life. He is matchless. But it shouldn't mean you stop cherishing your spouse.
... and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear] (Ephesians 5:33, Amplified)
These days I know I do better at this, thanks in big part to this community and all the conversations we've had here about thriving in a spiritually mismatched marriage. I think that was confirmed by Bryce's final comment --
"Now you're more low key about it. You're not so obsessed any more. I suppose God is your top thing still, but you handle it better."
He smiled at this. Clearly the topic was not too painful anymore.
I smiled too, inside. I am just as fervent now as I was then. I guess I just carry it a little differently now.
I reached out my hand to him. "It's definitely hard being different like this, isn't it?" He nodded completely in agreement. And then we changed the subject.
Phew. My friends, I don't find it easy having those conversations and I know it's the same for many of you. It's often sensitive to raise. But on that occasion I'm glad I asked. For one thing, I'm going to see what I can do to make my husband feel more 'shiny' ((smiling)).
Have you ever asked your spouse what their experience of your faith is? Or, what do you think they'd say?
Lovely chatting and have a great weekend,